To obtain great results from internal website optimization, it is no longer enough to follow an established checklist. Like never before, website promotion has become a complicated process.
Today, we will talk about On-Page SEO techniques. In contrast to Off-Page SEO, which refers to increasing authority of your website by getting links from other websites, “On-Page SEO” is about optimizing the pages of your website to improve your search engine rankings.
On-Page SEO is a complex field which, if leveraged properly, can have a profound result on search engine rankings of your website. To be even more specific, it is a set of tools which, when combined, deliver the search results you expect from a well-run SEO campaign.
URL (Universal Resource Locator) is an internet address of a web page of your website. Each page of your website has one, and it usually consists of a few words. Optimizing your URLs is the next thing you should do after you have selected a domain name for your website.
The keywords in a URL are a huge ranking factor, and search engines analyze the URLs to understand the content of your pages. Include at least one keyword that is important to your business in a page URL.
This keyword should best describe the content of the page. Don’t repeat the same keyword many times, as your page may be flagged as spam. Such bad practice is sometimes referred to as “keyword stuffing.”
Besides, it will be a negative experience for your users, who might consider it cheap and unprofessional.
The URL should be laconic, it should perfectly describe the page content in a short memorable way that will make it easier for website users to remember and share it. Again, put at least one target keyword in your URL.
You don’t want your readers to sit for half a minute waiting for your page to load. With many competitors in the market, they are more likely to look for a faster loading site. A page that loads forever leads to frustration. And you don’t want your page visitors to feel frustrated, do you?
Slower loading pages may affect the ranking of your page. Starting July 2018, Google’s algorithm will account for mobile page load speed when it ranks pages. Web crawlers are limited in time that they spend on the page. It means some of your stuff may end up unindexed.
Sources differ as to optimal page load time. Aim to a few seconds. There are numerous suggestions that can help you increase page speed: compress files, optimize and compress images, simplify your code, reduce page redirects, encourage browser caching.
If there is too much content on one page, consider separating it into two or more pages. Also, make sure you work with good programmers, as it is often harder to fix a lame website than to create a new one from scratch.
Of course, your pages should have images. In addition to text content of a page, images can also be a highly productive SEO tool that must be leveraged properly.
First, choose an image that is appealing to users and relevant in terms of page content. Images can slow down site speed tremendously, so make sure you resize the image and compress it.
Most images are copyrighted, yet there a few websites that offer high quality free stock images.
When you add an image to your page, pay attention to name of the file and the “alt” attribute of the image. Alt text is displayed instead of your image if for some reason the browser can’t load it.
Both the image filename and the alt text must be short, very specific, and contain a keyword to rank higher the page. For example, if a keyword is “home improvement”, call your file “home-improvement.jpg.”
In HTML, the language used to create and structure the semantic content of a web page, the title of your page is usually enclosed in the <title> tag in the <head> section of page. Titles are an important page SEO factor, as they appear in search engine results pages, including Google searches.
Keep your titles below 60 characters, as Google typically displays first 50-60 characters of a title. Users simply won’t see anything beyond that.
Give every web page a unique title(to avoid duplicate titles), preferably different from those of your competitors. Also, put important keywords first, as users typically scan only the first few words of a title.
<h1> and <h2> are HTML tags that refer to headings and subheadings of your page. There are six headings tags in HTML, from H1 to H6. Headings help Google to get an idea of what content you have on a page and how relevant it might be for a Google search.
It is important that your headings help the user and Google understand how content is structured on a web page. So, exercise logic when you select a heading and subheadings for your page.
Do not use these tags for anything other than headings. To rank a page higher, insert a page keyword into your <h1> heading and insert it at least once in either of the sub-headings (<h2>, <h3> etc. if available).
On a Google search results page, right under the blue clickable links you may see a short description of this page. This usually varies from sentence to a short paragraph. It is called a meta description and is enclosed in <meta> tags.
The purpose of a meta description is to enhance user experience during a search engine search by providing a snippet of your web page. The role of a meta description for SEO purposes is huge, as it can draw users to your website like nothing else.
So make sure that you write a compelling, readable and unique snippet for your webpage that includes your page keyword. We advise to put it in the beginning of the meta description.
In addition to external linking, it is also essential to perform high-quality internal link building. In other words, it means linking your web page to other pages on your website.
By linking your page to other pages of your website, you provide a path to travel for web crawlers that analyze and index your pages. If a spider gets on your page, it may index all your pages by using internal linking.
Try to have all your pages linked one or another but do it reasonable to maintain readability and visual appeal of a page.
When you do internal linking, it is important to try to link your page to another page using the keyword that is on the page we’re linking to.
Search engines, such as Google, do analyze phrase relationships when processing queries, improving the rankings of web pages that contain related words and phrases. In other words, use synonyms and related expressions.
If your web page is too focused on one keyword or phrase, it will rank worse than a page with related vocabulary. Besides, by expanding your vocabulary, you increase the search potential of your webpage.
Keywords have a profound effect On-Page SEO. Use keywords in your title, meta-description, one or two headings and in the first and last paragraph of the article. Don’t overuse them too, as it will undermine the readability and credibility of your page.
Increase Time on Page
The Internet and the abundance of high-quality websites have made the readers very picky and choosy. As a result of strong competition, it has become a challenge to retain the visitors on your webpage for as long as possible.
In addition to high-quality and interesting content, it is highly recommendable to use interesting and appealing images and videos. People prefer images and videos to the text, as they require less mental effort.
In this article, we have listed a few of the most helpful On-Page SEO tools that may come in handy. Make sure you use them consistently!
In our next articles, we will discuss other interesting topics, such as boosting your page speed and using blog posts and social media tools to rank higher on SERP (search engine result pages).